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Kings & Thieves

2.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 6, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 solo album from the former lead singer of Queensryche. Multi-platinum selling, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Geoff Tate is regarded as one of the most skilled vocalists in the genre with hundreds of modern, popular artists citing him and his band as a major influence.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Inside Out U.S.
  • ASIN: B009A9EXKK
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Geoff Tate was once considered one of the most gifted and legendary singers in hard rock and heavy metal music. But Tate has done the best he can to distance himself from those labels in recent years and his latest offering, Kings & Thieves shows why -- he can't (or won't) SING any longer.

Kings & Thieves is the third release in a row where Geoff's vocal performance is the weakest link. From American Soldier, to Dedicated to Chaos and now Kings & Thieves, the pattern is Tate's declining ability as a singer, even when presented with musical ideas that fit his more non-metal preferences.

He's found this fascination with speaking lyrics instead of singing, which in small doses is fine. But this record continues the trend even more. And when Tate does attempt to sing and hit a note, its often flat and strained -- showing the dramatic loss of range and control that he used to be revered for.

There shouldn't have been any excuses on this record for Tate. He paired himself up with long-time friends and former MYTH bandmates Kelly Gray and Randy Gane -- a writing team very loyal to him that's he's comfortable with. Perhaps that backfired...maybe those he trusts didn't have the guts to stand up and say "Geoff, you need to do better than this."

From a lyrical and melody perspective, Kings & Thieves is quite possibly the worst Geoff Tate has ever done. Sexually suggestive lyrics are ok in certain instances, but "Say U Love It" is downright atrocious. You're what, 53, Geoff? This is what you're going to sing about? Really?

Sadly, while the lyrics are terrible for a lot of this record, the vocal melodies are just as bad.
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Format: Audio CD
I received my copy of the new Geoff Tate album on Saturday, so I've had a few days to listen and let the new songs sink in. I also had the pleasure of seeing Geoff perform live on Halloween night last week, so many of the new songs are still fresh in my mind from that performance. Without going into a song-by-song detail I must say that I feel "Kings & Thieves" is a fairly bland album and not exactly what I had hoped for.

I enjoyed Geoff's first solo album in 2002, especially because it varied its music styles to include R & B, electronics, and an overall softer tone compared what he had previously done in Queensryche. To my surprise, this new solo album "Kings & Thieves" is much heavier and guitar-rock driven than I had expected. I will admit that I preferred his first solo album to some of the recent Queensryche releases because he explored other soundscapes and musical arrangements than that of basic mid-tempo guitar rock. Because of the expectations set by his first solo album I'm slightly feeling let down by his second solo record.

The best way that I can describe this album is is that its a continuation of the production and style found on Queensryche's 1999 album, Q2K. The songs on "Kings & Thieves" are very similar in structure and have Kelly Gray's fingerprints all over it. Kelly Gray was my least favorite Queensryche guitarist and I was not overly fond of the guitar sound and overall song quality on Q2K (and also the tour that followed), and this new Geoff Tate album sounds like a complete contiuation of that songwriting style. After hearing the album I wasn't surprised to look at the linear notes and see that Kelly Gray had mixing credit and songwriting credit on all but 2 of the songs.
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Format: Audio CD
I didn't expect a Queensrÿche record-- all I expected was a half-way decent one and I was very disappointed.

The lyrical content of this record is atrocious and platitudinous, Geoff's voice is very tired, and the music is terribly bland. Gag-worthy cuts like "Say U Luv It", "In The Dirt", and "The Way I Roll" are nothing short of a disgrace to Geoff Tate's legacy, and an insult to most people's intelligence. Cringe-worthy and painfully idiotic lyrics like "She's got moves like I've never seen, rides me hard like an exercise machine" are sad reminders of where Geoff Tate is creatively. This is album is self-indulgent, contrived, and about as meaningful as the average pop record.

The music sounds like the same monotony from Dedicated to Chaos, but with a little more life. There are very brief flashes of brilliance, but it feels as if the musicians are holding something back. This album had good intentions, but absolutely abysmal execution.

If you loved Dedicated to Chaos or Q2k, you'd probably get a kick out of this record. If you liked Geoff's previous solo effort-- or anything else he as ever done-- I'd stand clear of this one.
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Format: Audio CD
I began listening to Queensryche during the Empire years (as so many others did also) and have followed them since. Subsequent albums were good, but when Q2K came out that pretty much started the decline of Queensryche. Operation Mindrcime II was a disaster, American Solider no better and Dedicated to Chaos was just ...... it just shouldn't have been released. So, Queensryche parts ways with Tate and right away, he signs with Inside Out and here comes his second solo effort. I'm thinking, maybe he will deliver a solid release. Then again, maybe not. I agree with other reviewers and his choice of Kelly Grey collaborating with him. Not a good choice. Q2K was so rigid, nothing flowed and this album follows suit. Tate used to have a fantastic voice, but age has shown its colors where he doesn't have the range anymore. But that doesn't mean you still can't put out a quaility record. You just need to rethink on how you put the songs together. Each release by Queensryche I would have some hope, but after every listen I questioned myself on why did I ever buy that. And that's the case with this release. For me, just not a good listen, both musically and lyrically. For others who will enjoy this, good for you if this is your cup of tea. Now I have to just stop myself from purchasing anything else by Geoff Tate. I hate being disappointed time and time again.
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